Diamond Quantum Memory Beats Record

It holds a quantum bit long enough for real computation

3 min read

7 June 2012—A new type of memory could give the emerging field of quantum computing a much-needed boost. Scientists at Harvard University say they’ve developed a solid-state, room-temperature quantum memory that can hold information longer than one second. The memory records a quantum property called spin on the nucleus of an atom inside a diamond. Earlier solid-state nuclear-spin-based memories would lose their data after only milliseconds unless cryogenically cooled. The research is being reported in this week’s issue of the journal Science.  

For practical quantum computers—experimental machines that aim to solve problems beyond the reach of ordinary computers by exploiting some of the stranger rules of quantum mechanics—it is essential to have quantum memories that last long enough to process information and churn out answers. Physicists think that the needed time frame is about one second.

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The Future of Deep Learning Is Photonic

Computing with light could slash the energy needs of neural networks

10 min read

This computer rendering depicts the pattern on a photonic chip that the author and his colleagues have devised for performing neural-network calculations using light.

Alexander Sludds
DarkBlue1

Think of the many tasks to which computers are being applied that in the not-so-distant past required human intuition. Computers routinely identify objects in images, transcribe speech, translate between languages, diagnose medical conditions, play complex games, and drive cars.

The technique that has empowered these stunning developments is called deep learning, a term that refers to mathematical models known as artificial neural networks. Deep learning is a subfield of machine learning, a branch of computer science based on fitting complex models to data.

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